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Tags: vivek ramaswamy | republican jewish leaders | israel | aid

Jewish Republicans Reject Ramaswamy Plan to Cut Israel Aid

By    |   Tuesday, 22 August 2023 12:41 PM EDT

Republican Jewish leaders are rejecting GOP presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy's proposal to cut off military aid to Israel within five years, insisting "such a move would very decidedly not be in America's best interest."

In a letter posted on social media platform X, Matthew Brooks, CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition, praised Ramaswamy as a "strong and passionate supporter of Israel," but urged Ramaswamy to rethink his stance on U.S. military aid.

"In light of your overall support for a strong U.S.-Israel alliance, I believe that a closer look at the issue of U.S. aid will convince you that now is not the time to end an aid program that provides so much benefit to our nation, strengthens our key strategic ally Israel, and contributes to the stability of the Middle East," Brooks wrote.

The pushback and closer scrutiny comes as Ramaswamy continues a climb in the polls.

Ramaswamy told podcaster Russell Brand last week that he favors cutting the U.S. military funding to Israel by 2028.

Ramaswamy doubled-down in an interview with the Free Beacon, arguing the aid will be unnecessary after he negotiates new peace treaties between Israel and its Arab neighbors in his first year in the Oval Office.

"If we're successful, the true mark of success for the U.S., and for Israel, will be to get to a 2028 where Israel is so strongly standing on its own two feet, integrated into the economic and security infrastructure of the rest of the Middle East, that it will not require and be dependent on that same level of historical aid or commitment from the U.S.," Ramaswamy told the outlet.

In his letter to Ramaswamy, Brooks said Israel is "our most valuable ally against Iran, which is the chief threat to U.S. interests in that part of the globe," and said pulling military funding from Israel would be "universally perceived by Israel's enemies as a weakening of the U.S.-Israel relationship."

"Iran already controls Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and the Gaza Strip," Brooks wrote. "The appearance of abandoning Israel would seriously harm Israel in military, diplomatic, and economic terms. In this dangerous time, such a move would very decidedly not be in America's best interest."

Brooks also noted Israel spends 85% of its aid on American-manufactured arms, is a partner with U.S. Central Command, cooperates closely with the U.S. defense industry, and has "battle-tested a number of important systems, testing that has benefited U.S. forces."

The Free Beacon noted Ramaswamy's position on Israel aid has shifted; in June he told the news outlet he supported continuing aid.

Earlier the same month, however, he said in New Hampshire that he would draw back the foreign aid as "part of a broader disengagement with the Middle East," the Free Beacon reported, citing video it had obtained.

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Republican Jewish leaders are rejecting GOP presidential contender Vivek Ramaswamy's proposal to cut off military aid to Israel within five years, insisting "such a move would very decidedly not be in America's best interest."
vivek ramaswamy, republican jewish leaders, israel, aid
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2023-41-22
Tuesday, 22 August 2023 12:41 PM
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